The Future of Sensory Branding: Printed Promotional Advertising 

Posted on 2013-11-07 13:56:15


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In this article we won't be discussing so much the topic of branding strategies so much as the actual technology uses that supports such efforts. In general terms, branding is most associated with every visual stimulus that characterizes a brand; specifically the design of its logo, its colors and use of images etc, while communicating its core values ​​through this visual stimuli. The overall product experience in and of itself will determine brand loyalty of course and that experience extends far beyond the product to all brand touch points, including advertising. An interesting study found here suggests that tangible advertising not only engages more senses, it appears to produce deeper engagement and long lasting meaning with the advertising.


specialty inks, thermochromic ink, temperature changes color of ink, temperature changing ink, ink that changes color when cold, ink changes temperature when hot, printed materials change color, ink change color, uv ink change color, branding ideas, printed promotional material, custom drink coasters,The multi-sensory experience in print has the unique ability to offer the combination of vision, touch, smell – and yes, even taste!

When more than one sense is activated, brand impact and engagement increases dramatically. Paired with a clever bit of creativity, such products can provide a real WOW factor. Capturing the attention of your target audience using multiple senses results in longer lasting and stronger emotional connection with your brand messaging. In another blog article we already discussed how QR Codes and NFC ‘Near Field Communication’ technology are transforming the traditional print industry into an interactive digital audio/visual experience. Advertisers and marketers are always looking for unique ways to make their print ads and branded promotional materials stand out among the competition. Coaster Factory is always looking for new technologies and innovative concepts that deliver the latest possible solutions for our customers while also driving greater interaction between their brands and the end consumer.

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What is Thermochromatic? Thermochromic means it changes colour when the temperature changes.  Thermochromic inks take advantage of thermochromism, which refers to materials that change their hues in response to temperature fluctuations. Thermochromic inks or dyes are temperature sensitive compounds that can either be temporary or permanent, depending on how the ink's made. Developed in the 1970s, (remember the mood ring), thermochromic inks have evolved at a steady pace. Although they are still used in all sorts of nifty novelty items, they also have many useful and creative applications such as: thermometers, clothing, paint, drink containers, toys, battery indicators, plastic products of all kinds, printed paper products and much more.

Beverage containers are one of the most common products to use special thermochromic inks.

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Thermochromic ink should not be confused with photochromic ink, another type that changes color with exposure to UV rays, or sunlight. In addition, thermochromic ink can be manufactured to be reversible or irreversible; the preference comes if someone wants to monitor repeated temperature change or one change only. There are two major categories of these inks: thermochromatic liquid crystals (TLCs) and leuco dyes. Liquid Crystal is generally used for higher precision applications such as thermometers and medical devices. Leuco Dye is commonly used for packaging, product labeling, graphics and novelty.

Specialty inks differentiate your brand from the rest by raising the specter of something exciting.

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They can perform a multitude of functions for a package or its contents—from protection to jazzing it up, providing enhanced value in form, function, or both. There are numerous companies integrating these dynamic, eye-catching color-changing inks into their promotional advertising & marketing collateral pieces. Doing so can help them grab consumers' attention and differentiate a brand from those that use regular inks.

Colour changing products create interaction with consumers

The Thermochromic Printing Revolution: 

Thermochromic inks are more expensive than regular inks, but they still find their way into innovative products; clothes and cars to papers, paints, household items including kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Beer and energy drink companies are known for incorporating flashy, temperature-sensitive graphics into their products. Leuco dyes don't interfere with recycling, so they're environmentally sound, too. There are a growing number of examples of highly innovative thermochromic concepts that have delivered significant impact and ROI. Here are some recent examples of brands using this technology:

  • Sensory Branding Printed Promotional Advertising blog article by Alex Zafer, special effect inks, thermochromic color temperature changing ink, temperature changing ink, ink that changes color, specialty inks, thermochromic ink, temperature changes color of ink, temperature changing ink, ink that changes color when cold, ink changes temperature when hot, printed materials change color, ink change color, uv ink change color, branding ideas, printed promotional material, custom drink coasters,Mountain Dew – Mountain Dew used cold-activated thermochromic inks in their limited edition 16oz cans. The cans, which were used in a cross-promotional campaign with the Dark Knight Rises film where the Batman logo would change from a flat grey to Mountain Dew green when chilled to 8°C. The color changing aspect of the cans was part of the new, limited edition “Dew Gotham City” promotion. 
  • Stella Artois incorporated a temperature sensitive thermochromatic beer mat coaster as a promotion of their “Perfectly Served Pint” stint – a pint of Stella at the correct chilled and refreshing temp.
  • Other company’s who have used Thermochromic ink for their promotional campaigns include: Coors Light, Busch Light, Budweiser, Fosters, Galliano, Guiness, Heineken, Grolsch, Carling, Tia Maria, and even Tetley Tea to name a few.

Glitter inks, colored fluorescent and UV inks that glow under UV lights are another popular specialty that appeals to the visual senses. These developments are perfect for brands looking to attract young, style-conscious consumers and build a distinctive niche position in the marketplace. UV ink technology has already proved extremely popular in pubs and clubs for both the new breed of coolers and energy drinks.

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Even the sense of taste is not forgotten in the print ad industry. Fanta once did a product sampling campaign instructing would be customers to tear a piece of the paper ad and pop it into their mouths. That’s right. The edible sweet and tangy flavor ad was a huge success. Even Land Rover offered its test drivers a survival pack when testing their vehicles in the desert. What was it? An edible survivor booklet stashed in the glove compartment.

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From the use of eco-friendly vegetable-based dyes to specialized thermographic and UV inks, we also specialize in debossing, foil stamping, gloss coating, glow-in-the-dark, scented and air-freshner coasters, to sparkled and even scratch-N-win coasters. Your brand is the most powerful tool in your toolbox and coasters are a unique, useful and cost effective way to promote your product or message. Anything that can be printed, can be printed on a drink coaster. The biggest brands have known this for a very long time!

Scratch-N-Win Coasters

Customers will be itching for a chance to get their hands on your coasters with our special scratch-n-win option!

Prizes, contests, and giveaways can be more engaging when there is a scratch game involved. Get your name out there with our scratch-n-win option and be a winner in the marketplace.

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Scratch areas are made of a removable latex that scratches off easily while still covering up the secret hidden underneath - available in silver and gold.

Variable Printing

We can provide custom printing on your coasters based on your own specifications, so that each coaster has a unique message.

Variable printing can be used to personalize coasters from a contact list, to serialize product, or offer identifying codes for various purposes.

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Need a quote? Click over to our Custom Coaster Quote Form. See our coaster designs by viewing our online Coaster Factory Showcase. ​Check out our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.


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Do you have customization ideas you'd like to try? Talk to one of our representatives and we will look into it for you! Check out our stock custom coaster shape pricing options!!


Coaster Factory is North America’s premier beer coaster manufacturer, providing exceptional service and the highest quality custom coasters printed on authentic premium European pulpboard.

High Quality, Coaster Printing, Colors & Materials: Our offset presses print FULL color (CMYK) on BOTH sides of your coasters (spot color is available). Not only do Coaster Factory's authentic European Pulpboard coasters effectively absorb spills, they’re lightweight, firm, and look great too!

Great Prices: We offer competitive pricing on any size coaster order, from 1,200 into the millions! We have standard value pack pricing for most common quantities and can provide quotes for larger or customized orders. Have your artwork, logo, picture or design printed full color on both sides with many size and custom shape options.

Fast Delivery: Need your coasters quickly? Whether your order is large or small, you'll receive your custom coasters fast. We offer standard as well as GUARANTEED RUSH production options (extra fees apply).

CALL us at 1-866-BEERMAT

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blog article by Alex Zafer